Western Wirrah, Acanthistius serratus (Cuvier 1828)

A Western Wirrah, Acanthistius serratus, at Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A pale greenish-brown rockcod with darker irregular bands and blotches, small dark spots, a dark bar from the snout through the eye, another bar from the eye to the preopercular margin, and dark grey fins.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Acanthistius serratus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jul 2020,

Western Wirrah, Acanthistius serratus (Cuvier 1828)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from Ceduna, South Australia, to Shark Bay, Western Australia. Commonly shelters in caves in southwestern Australia. Common but shy reef dweller, juveniles often in shallow rock pools.


Not considered a good table fish.

Species Citation

Plectropoma serratum Cuvier, 1828, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 2: 399. Type locality: King George Sound, WA.


Dianne J. Bray

Western Wirrah, Acanthistius serratus (Cuvier 1828)


Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp.

Cuvier, G.L. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1828. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 2 xxi, 2 + 490 pp., pls 9-40.

Hutchins, J.B. 1981. Description of a new species of serranid fish from Western Australia, with a key to the Australian species of Acanthistius. Records of the Western Australian Museum 8(4): 491-499 figs 1-2

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs.

Kuiter, R.H. 1994. Families Serranidae, Callanthiidae. pp. 528-548 figs 469-485 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Kuiter, R.H. 2004. Basslets, Hamlets and their relatives. A comprehensive guide to selected Serranidae and Plesiopidae. Chorleywood, UK : TMC Publishing 1, 216 pp.

Neira, F.J., A.G. Miskiewicz & T. Trnski. 1998. Larvae of temperate Australian fishes: laboratory guide for larval fish identification. University of Western Australia Press. 474 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311035

Depth:0-40 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:50 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map